If you like your escapes long on nature and short on flashy gadgets then Vietnam’s secluded island getaway Mango Bay is right up your eco-friendly street.
Half jungle forest, half Swiss Family Robinson, rustic thatched bungalows pepper the wild gardens of this great-value island hideaway and the superb sandy beaches of Phu Quoc’s mid-west coast are just seconds from your doorstep. Sunsets are breathtaking, the vibe is seriously chilled and the authentic Vietnamese food is absolutely delicious: the legendary Ms Linh consistently cooks up a storm using Mango Bay’s home-grown vegetables and locally sourced meat and fish.
Reef House, Mango Bay
Rooms: The 40 rustic rooms and bungalows are simple but tasteful and tranquil, and include nice little touches like thermos flasks, which you can fill with tea or coffee at the restaurant (free of charge), and an icebox, filled with ice and cold drinks on request. A lovely back-to-nature feel pervades the rooms: there’s no air-con but fans keep things cool, bathrooms are half open to the elements and you’ll hear a cacophony of insect noise as you drift off to sleep.
Veranda Room, Mango Bay
Food: The chilled out On The Rocks restaurant at the heart of the hotel is one of the best on Phu Quoc. The tasty, authentic Vietnamese food is top notch: home-grown vegetables and locally sourced meat and fish are combined to make delicious dishes like pork in clay pot and crab stir-fry. There’s also plenty of Western food – perfect for keeping kids happy. Breakfast is a simple but tasty affair with juice, coffee, bread, fruit and eggs. Further along the bay, there’s a beach bar serving lunch and dinner (with the option of cooking your own mini BBQ!) as well as amazing cocktails from barman Tin Tin.
Beach Bar, Mango Bay
When to go: The nicest time to visit is from November to May; the hottest months being April and May with temperatures getting up to 35 degrees. The rainy season is at its worst from July to September, but it is not a total washout; it’s a combo of wet and dry spells/days.